November 9, 2021

You can't measure success if you don't know who you're measuring

To say that TV measurement is in flux is a bit of an understatement. Inconsistent measurement is the biggest challenge facing connected TV advertisers.

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To say that TV measurement is in flux is a bit of an understatement. As audiences shift from traditional linear TV to streaming services across devices, advertisers demand new and more accurate ways to measure viewership. Inconsistent measurement is the biggest challenge facing connected TV advertisers, with 48% demanding more transparency and more than half asking for standardized video metrics that demonstrate ROI across screens.¹

Nielsen lost its MRC accreditation in September, it was the latest in a series of events that called into question whether legacy tools like panel-based data were sufficiently measuring digital and linear viewing audiences. Today, numerous streaming platforms and connected devices have methods for measuring audiences, with varying definitions of what constitutes a “view,” as well as different levels of granularity into audience demographics. As one agency executive wryly noted, trusting these services to provide objective data on viewership is like asking someone to grade their homework.²

There's a clear upside, though: the move toward digital opens the door to measuring and managing ad spend ROI like never before. As CTV continues to scale and the amount of quality content continues to grow, advertisers no longer need to sacrifice flexibility and transparency for the reach and impact CTV offers.

At Yahoo, here are some of the ways we are helping advertisers solve these challenges through an integrated approach:

  • Strategic, exclusive partnerships anchored in unique TV viewership data and premium programmatic inventory access: Improved TV measurement will require innovative cross-industry collaborations. Yahoo is committed to investing in partnerships across the TV landscape, including: MVPD's like Fios and DISH, measurement partners like VideoAmp, Comscore and iSpot, and agencies like Omnicom to establish industry wide CTV standards. We recently partnered with VIZIO  as the exclusive DSP partner with access to its Inscape automated content recognition (ACR) data in addition to VIZIO's own direct access.³ This enables us to understand which programs and ads viewers watch on over 19M VIZIO Smart TVs on a second-by-second basis from any content source, linear or digital.
  • Advanced cross-screen planning and reporting tools: Our Unified TV Report pulls data from several sources, including Inscape ACR, providing advertisers a more comprehensive view of their investments across linear and digital ad buys. In turn, this helps them measure incrementality by publisher, network, KPIs, and more. For example, an advertiser can understand its audience overlap by publisher, helping them allocate TV buys. Recently, one prominent online university increased its “search lift” by 41% by accessing a more holistic picture of which publishers contributed most to incremental reach.
  • Measure and optimize for near real-time campaign performance: In collaboration with partners such as Catalina, we recently expanded our In-Flight Sales Analysis tools to CTV and digital out-of-home (DOOH) campaigns, enabling marketers to connect the dots between online ads and offline sales.
  • Identity anchored in consented first-party data for holistic, cross-device management: Yahoo ConnectID offers CTV identity resolution across households, users and devices. You can leverage household-level forecasting and set and measure ad frequency by household. And, with transparency into user-level data, you get access to cross-device insights to retarget users reached on CTV across their other devices to drive them down the sales funnel. With our upcoming people-based frequency capping feature (currently in beta), advertisers can target and measure frequency on a holistic level across TV, desktop, and mobile.
  • Deep investments in AI and machine learning: We take inputs from multiple data sources and extract actionable insights. In the past, when reliable data came from a single source like Nielsen, measurement used to be a matter of simple arithmetic. With data coming from multiple and often conflicting sources, it’s now more like calculus. Our AI/ML expertise allows for both better targeting and more sophisticated measurement.

The days of relying on a single source of truth for TV viewership are over. We believe measurement needs to be built upon a diversified foundation, starting with objective, quantifiable audiences. Our independent, omnichannel, and unified ad stack supports a wide range of third-party solutions. This technology allows advertisers to validate the currency-based measurements with which they're already familiar.

The holy grail of true 1 to 1 measurement is within reach. But we all need to work together to get there. Don’t go another day without measuring your CTV audience. Let's connect today so you can know who your audiences are.


¹ Verna, Paul, 19 Aug. 2021. “TV ad measurement 2021,”

² Weprin, Alex, 12 October, 2021. “TV ads in flux: $60B in limbo amid changing viewer habits and Nielsen upheaval,”

³ As of January 1, 2022.

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